Bundt pan size: Which Bundt pan is best for a 9" x 13" cake recipe?

Our magazine, Sift, is filled with stunning photography and delicious recipes. But it’s also a great educational resource for bakers. From time to time we pick out a reader’s question from Sift to feature here in our blog — like this one from our upcoming Fall issue:

Q: I’m looking at a recipe that calls for a 9˝ x 13˝ pan, or two 9˝ layers, but I really want to bake it in a Bundt pan. What would be the right size Bundt pan, a 10-cup or 12-cup? And how long do I bake it for? – Joanne Rosenbluth

A. Joanne, bake your recipe calling for a 9″ x 13″ pan (or two 9″ round pans) in either a 10-cup or 12-cup Bundt pan. Increase the baking time by about 30% in the 10-cup pan, somewhat less in the 12-cup.

Now, how did we arrive at this answer? Inquiring bakers want to know!

First, let’s talk about Bundt pan size: what’s really meant by a 10-cup or 12-cup Bundt pan?

What those measurements DON’T mean is that you can bake 10 or 12 cups of cake batter in a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan. Capacity — the amount of liquid the pan will hold, right up to its rim — is different than bakeable capacity, which is the amount of cake batter the pan can hold and bake, without the batter overflowing the pan as it rises.

So while your Bundt pan size/capacity may be 10 cups, it’s bakeable capacity is more like 6 cups.

Note: Don’t know the capacity of your Bundt pan? Fill the pan with water right to its rim, then measure the water; that’s its capacity. Now fill the pan with water to 1 1/4″ to 1 1/2″ below the rim. Measure the water; that’s its bakeable capacity.

Bundt pan size via @kingarthurflour

A typical cake recipe — one that makes a 9″ x 13″ cake, or a couple of 9″ rounds, or 2 dozen cupcakes — yields just about 6 cups of batter, making it perfect for a 10-cup Bundt pan. (Pictured here is the batter for Chef Zeb’s Hot Milk Cake.)

Bundt pan size via @kingarthurflour

When baking a cake, be sure not to fill your pan any fuller than its bakeable capacity, as measured by how deep it fills the pan. Your batter should be at least 1 1/4″ below the rim of the pan.

Yes, I did overfill the pan a bit here. Let’s see what happens—

Bundt pan size via @kingarthurflour

Whew! I’d say the 6 1/4 cups of batter I used was at the top limits of this 10-cup pan’s bakeable capacity.

Now, how about baking time? When switching from a 9″ x 13″ pan or 9″ round cake pans to a Bundt pan, you’ll need to increase the cake’s baking time — by about 30%, in my experience. Best bet? Start checking the cake for doneness once it’s reached the maximum baking time called for in your recipe.

And if you choose a pan whose capacity is larger than necessary for your recipe (e.g., Joanne’s 12-cup Bundt pan, whose bakeable capacity would be about 7 1/4 cups), you can still get good results. The batter won’t fill a larger pan all the way, but will nevertheless yield an attractive cake. You won’t need to increase the baking time quite as much as you did when using a smaller Bundt pan.

Feeling inspired to bake a cake? Check out our hundreds of baker-tested cake recipes, and our cake and cupcakes baking guide.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. meedee

    WOW !!!!! I learned something new today ! These things I did not know about bundt pans , so glad I follow these blogs . Now I want the bundt pan , that has four different bundt shapes that KAF, has to offer . Thank you , keep blogs coming!!

    Reply
  2. Carol

    I agree with the previous reader. I always learn so much from the blog posts and really appreciate the time you take to create them.

    Reply
  3. D. Jowell

    Love all the detailed information I get each time I read the king surfer news letter and blog. Thank you for all the hard work!!

    Reply
  4. Travis May

    I tend to try to bake smaller Bundt cakes, 3/4, if possible. Only two people in the house, plus two dogs and a cat. It works out pretty good to start checking at the end of the bake time. Thanks, Travis May

    Reply
    1. Lucy P

      I have two of the half size pans; use them more than the regular size. Freeze one, or better yet, surprise someone with the other one! I’m doing just that today, using the lemon juice powder – I love that !

    2. Mary Gehl

      You will LOVE the small bundt pan! I got it specifically to bake smaller cakes for fair entries and find myself using it all the time for my husband and myself too! I also recently got the special edition bundt pan that has about 20 slices which works just wonderful for pound cake for a crowd!

  5. Vickie Bennett

    Excellent information. Allows more options when baking all sorts of recipes. Thanks. Learn so much from KAF.

    Reply
  6. Teri Pennington

    My last two or three cakes baked in a bundt pan looked great as I took them out of the pan. But later I noticed they strunk.. What did I do wrong? Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Teri,
      There are a few reasons why cakes can fall while they’re in the oven. The most common reason is because of over-mixing or over-creaming. Take a look at this video showing how to properly cream butter and sugar together. Also be sure to mix your wet and dry ingredients together just until combined. Extra mixing or too much creaming incorporates air into the batter, which then can deflate in the oven.

      Another tip–be sure you’re using a strong enough flour. If you aren’t already, try using King Arthur All-Purpose Flour. It has a high enough protein level to support the structure of your cakes while still making them soft and tender.

      Lastly–your recipe choice. Make sure you’re using a reliable source for your recipe, otherwise the amount of liquid may be too high. It may need to be reduced and/or another egg added for support. We have lots of tried and tested cake recipes on our website for you to check out! Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  7. Daphne

    Thanks for information on 9×13 pan v Bundy pan. I’m using my Mother’s Bundy from the 60’s. It’s aluminum so adjusted oven Temp that (my usual pans are dark). I recently cut a recipe in half because I wasn’t sure if the batter would fit I the Bundy (blackberry jam cake). Learn alot from KAF. My “go to”dinner rolls are based your potato roll recipe! Best regards Daphne

    Reply
  8. Manfred

    I enjoy your recipes and have used them a lot. However, when it comes to 9″ x 13″ pan or 9″ round cake pans or a square baking pan or even F° instead of C°. I have to convert mm or centimeters. it is frustrating. I am not from the USA and have only learned the metric system. The same goes for cups. I prefer g or ml. No cup is the same. One can also asked then how much is a pinch of salt. And another thing. Are the recipe for high or low altitude. So, could one not accommodate all that in the recipe of yours? It would make it so much more fun.
    best regards

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Manfred,
      We’re happy to help with some of these challenges. Our recipes can be easily converted to grams if you prefer to measure by weight. Just click the “grams” button underneath the ingredients header when viewing a recipe. We understand that some bakers, like yourself, prefer precision and to measure by weight. We try to make it easy for you with this tool.

      As for your comment about altitude, we have a full High-Altitude Baking Guide that can be used to adjust your recipes for your specific elevation. (If you are at less than 3,000 ft., there’s no need to change the recipe.)

      We typically refer to pan sizes in inches rather than centimeters since that what most of our bakers are familiar with, but we will certainly consider adding centimeter (or millimeter) equivalents as well. We hope to make baking easy and fun for you! Good luck. Kye@KAF

    2. Brian

      “No cup is the same.”

      Actually, the term “cup” as used in recipes doesn’t refer to tableware, it’s a specific volume and is a standardized unit; any quality measuring cup will have the same volume. (I’ve found some cheap Chinese ones that can be off by as much as 10%, but good measuring cups by Pyrex, OXO, etc. are very accurate.) 1 cup = 236.59 millilitres.

  9. Susan

    I am using a recipe for a 10″ (12 cups) bundt pan in two of the half-size (6 cups) bunt pans. The recipe calls for baking the full size pan for 1 hour and 20 minutes. How long should I bake the cakes in the smaller size pans? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Susan, set your timer for 40 minutes, and check your cakes. If they’re not done, add 5 minutes to the timer and check again. You can always bake it longer. You can also try using an instant-read thermometer – most cakes are done somewhere around 213°F. Susan

  10. David Alexander

    I think it is better to say when measuring the capacity of a bundt pan or any other, to fill it with measuring cups of water “until it just begins to overflow”. The important words are “until it just begins to overflow”; otherwise one person might fill it 1/8-inch from the rim, and another 1/4-inch from the rim. If you measure as I stated, you will get the correct full measurement. I think simply saying to the rim is not accurate enough, and anyone who has done much baking, knows that accuracy is everything!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Micki, make sure to great the pan very well, especially in those lovely details of the bundt pan. But also try flouring the pan, this aids in helping get the cake out smoothly. Lastly, make sure the cake is baked all the way through.
      Bryanna@KAF

    2. Marquisha T

      I use a mixture that some call Goop. I call it pan grease. It’s equal parts of shortening, vegetable oil and flour mixed together. I use my mixer to blend it until smooth and brush it on my pans. My cakes practically jump out of the pan!
      I normally use 1 cup of each. Keep refrigerated between uses and it keeps for months. Unless you bake often, like I do!

  11. Doris Carver

    I have a very nice Nordic fluted pan which was quite expensive. My problem, no matter how I grease (or spray) the pan, the cake sticks and leaves chunks in bottom of the pan. The pan is made of cast aluminum. Can you offer any solutions? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Doris, are you greasing the pan with solid shortening or vegetable oil spray (not butter)? Butter can make cakes stick. Have you tried flouring it, as well? Are you loosening the cake’s edges and turning the pan over to rest on a rack as soon as you take the cake out of the oven? If so, and your cake is still sticking, here’s an insider tip that the pros use sometimes: grease the pan, then sprinkle with granulated sugar. You’d think the sugar would make the cake stick, but it actually works the opposite way, as it melted and helps the cake slide out of the pan (so long as you turn the pan over as soon as you take the cake out of the oven). Hope this works for you – PJH

    2. Linda

      I have a suggestion regarding the cake sticking to the pan. I use “Dawn Power Dissolver.” This stuff is a miracle product. I have at least 10 bundt pans that I tried using all of these greasing methods on. They did not work. If you will clean the pans with this product first then grease I think you will have better luck. The only place I am able to find it is at Amazon. I hope this helps.

  12. Joan Setty

    I have had great results by using a baking pan spray. It contains oil and flour. I put the pan on it’s side after baking and rotate it a bit every few minutes. My Bundt type cakes pop right out with minimal loosening of the top using a spatula.

    Reply
  13. Elaine

    WOW, learn something new everyday! Good info since I bake bundts all the time. I’m also gonna try the sugar trick as I have issues with my swirl pan sticking. THANKS and BAKE ON! ♡

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sue, our recipes are designed with our flour, so you can use an alternative, but keep in mind the results might not be quite the same. Just in case, here is a link to our Store Locator page: http://bit.ly/1iFl9al
      Happy baking! Bryanna@KAF

  14. Oma Norris

    Thanks for this information–very interesting. I am wondering about reversing this, i.e. baking a cake that calls for a bundt pan in a 9×13 pan. How would you figure the baking time. Thanks for all the recipes also.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Oma, the baking time would be significantly less in a pan such as a 9×13. I would bake this cake, for example, for about 40-45 minutes.

  15. Hester Lee Sandlin

    Love love King Arthur can’t wait to order your fabulous products and see your recipes and blog.

    Reply
  16. Louise

    Thank you for posting these tips!!!! I too, learned something valuable reading your blog. I will make sure I save this. Now, I have a question. Does the same rule of thumb apply when baking in those miniature pans, like the 3×5, and the 5×7 pans? I don’t bake in them very often, just at the holidays, and it’s hard to remember how much goes in these little pans.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Louise,
      Those cute little bread pans are perfect for gift-giving around the holidays. You use use the 1 1/4″ below the rim as a general guideline for filling these pans too. They’ll need less time to bake since they’re smaller too, so adjust the recipe accordingly. Start with half the amount of baking time and then check for doneness every five minutes or so. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    2. Louise

      How many oz. of dough would you put in those mini pans to make a real pretty domed loaf. I have the 3×5, and the 5×7, I think that’s what they are. When I bake bread, I save enough for one of those little loaves, hubby likes them. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

    3. PJ Hamel , post author

      Louise, the weight of the dough or batter totally depends on what type of bread you’re making; a quick bread (e.g., banana bread) would be different than a yeast loaf. I think if you fill the pan about 2/3 full with quick bread batter, or half full with yeast dough, you should make a nice-looking loaf. PJH

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Nina,
      A standard-size Bundt usually ranges from 10-15 cups (about 6-8 cups of bakeable capacity), which will be just fine for your pound cake recipe. We recommend following the technique described in this blog post, where you pour the batter so that it reaches no higher than 1 1/4″ below the rim. This will ensure your batter doesn’t overflow in the oven, but if you choose at least a 10-cup pan, you should be just fine. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  17. Lenore

    Good info PJ. I wish bundt pan makers would put the volume per pan on the pan ie the base so we would know at a glance.
    I have a question for you: just installed the range of my dreams and the ovens are regular bake or convection. How do I convert baking time from a regular electric oven to a convection oven?
    Many Thanks

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sounds like you’re looking for our “Convection or No” blog post, where we review the types of baked goods that bake up particularly well using the convection setting, and which should be baked sans convection. The post also covers adjusting the temperature by reducing it 25°F and checking for doneness 5 minutes early. Check out the post for full details. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It can be challenging to adequately prepare a Bundt pan because of all the nooks and crannies of the design. We’ve had the best results either using a high-quality non-stick spray like our Everbake Pan Spray or brushing the pan with shortening using a clean pastry brush. Once you have this first layer, you can sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour into the pan and shake it round to make sure it’s evenly distributed. Turn the pan upside down to discard any excess, and then it’s ready for batter. Fingers crossed! Kye@KAF

  18. Diane Rice

    THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BUNDT cake but I just wanted to let you know I had quite baking, especially my cookies since I moved to Vermont I’m living in an apt. Now I lost my home after my husband passed well I was reading about burning bake goods on your page and I have good pans but you mention checking the temp of my oven I went to your place and got a good thermapen. To read my oven and it’s off by 100 deg. So if I cook at 350 I turn my oven temp at 250 and I don’t burn my bake goods I’m so happy thank you so much to get me baking again and my grandkids thank you too….Diane

    Reply
  19. linda

    great information concerning the capacity and baking capacity of the bundt pan, which should also apply to other baking pans. thanks king arthur for the helpful baking tips.

    Reply
  20. Frank

    Excellent information and this was information that needed to be shared as I have made a number of baked goods in bunds pans before, but never really felt that I had a solid understanding of their capacity. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Sure, Eleanor. You might miss some of the design since the cake won’t fill the pan as well; and you’ll have to bake it for a shorter amount of time, so start testing it when the top feels set. Good luck — PJH

  21. Jan Degan

    I have a great banana bread recipe – made in a standard loaf pan. I just purchased a 10 cup Nordic bundt pan. Can I bake the banana bread in it? I know it would not be as tall, but would it turn out ok?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Jan, if you banana bread recipe nicely filled a 9″ by 5″ pan (a standard quick bread pan) then it should be fine to bake in your new Bundt pan. If the banana bread recipe calls for a smaller 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ loaf pan, then it will likely result in a shot, squat cake. As long as you grease the pan well, it should turn out OK! Kye@KAF

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